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Old 07-04-2016, 02:22 AM   #1
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Default Boat cleaning

My uncle just a bought a new fiberglass boat and I have been takes with cleaning it. I do not need to buff/polish any surfaces but I was wondering if anyone knows of any guides or has nay general tips and a first time cleaning.

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Old 07-05-2016, 07:11 AM   #2
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Default Boat detailing

There are a wealth of information on the internet regarding boat cleaning and detailing. Google away and you will find info in boat forums and sites. Boat products companies usually have blogs on the subject. After years of cleaning my boats I have a system that works for me. I even work for a boat detailing company to pick up the secrets of the pros!

Biggest advice is not to be shy on using plenty of water to wash and rinse your boat! A clean boat goes a long way to the detailing of a boat. Biggest problem is mold and mildew which can be knocked down with mold and mildew remover. Second big problem is spider poop, which should be remove ASAP!

Just be careful on cleaning products. Make sure they are designed for gel coats and vinyl upholstery. The rest is experience. I had so many people comment on my boat and ask me to detail their boat. I'd rather be boating so please seek out a reputable boat detailer.
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:02 AM   #3
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One thing that I use that seems to clean better than most is "Roll Off".

In fact, when someone often washes their boat and there is some stains left behind, I often walk up, spray on some 'Roll Off' and hit it with the same brush they were using to clean the boat. They are often amazed that the dirt/stain came off so easily, especially after they just tried to scrub and clean the spot.

I wouldn't use it on the whole boat, but I use it for spot treatment. I keep a bottle with me as I'm washing my boat.

If the boat does NOT have bottom paint, and the bottom has a any water stains on it (which it probably does) the easiest thing to use is "On Off". Follow the directions. But I have used a garden sprayer myself. Just don't get it on any galvanized metal trailer or your I/O, and again FOLLOW the directions on the label, this is a strong acid based cleaner.

Parafunalia has both of these on their shelf for sale.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:30 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
Just don't get it on any galvanized metal trailer or your I/O, and again FOLLOW the directions on the label, this is a strong acid based cleaner.
So what's a guy like me supposed to use when my fiberglass/gelcoat Baja sits on a trailer when not being used? Granted, I have less scum line and scale to deal with since it's not in the water all season but after reading about cleaning with various acid products, it still needs cleaning and I'm afraid to damage anything.

I've done a little Google searching and I've found StarBrite Hull Cleaner, Slimy Grimy and something known as FSR (fiberglass stain remover?) as possible cleaners. I also found people talking about using a 1:1 mix of vinegar and water but I'm thinking that's more for hard water deposits than scum line cleaning.

Thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:26 AM   #5
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I don't have a trailer so I can't offer direct experience.

Perhaps use plastic to cover the trailer? Or put the boat on blocks (off the trailer) for the cleaning?

I've been told that if it's a painted trailer, you may be ok. I've hear that the acid cleaners are tough on the galvanized trailers.
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Old 07-13-2016, 12:25 PM   #6
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This is just an idea--what about the mold cleaner you can use on a house? I used undiluted simple green to clean my boat last time when it was really gritty and gross but I also don't care that much if it ruins the sheen on the gelcoat, etc...your results may vary!

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Old 07-16-2016, 07:49 PM   #7
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To get that scum and stain off the bottom of the boat after it sits in the water for an extended period of time (ring around the toilet look) what you want to use is oxalic acid. Now a bunch of these cleaning products mentioned are sold in a pre-mix bottle and ready to use. For the same money you can buy this stuff in a 20 oz jar in crystalized concentrated form for about 20 bucks capable of making 6 gallons of treatment. Simply mix it with hot water in a spray bottle and away you go. Far cheaper.


I've got a jar that has lasted me about 6 years now. I use about a gallon of it to clean the bottom of my boat at the end of the season. Stuff is amazing takes the stain right off returning the hull to it's original color. Just make sure you're not downwind of this stuff as it is not something you want to get on you or breathe in. Fine on your trailer so long as it is not allowed to sit very long. I usually wet my trailer down ahead of the acid wash.

I use 303 on my interior vinyl, it's expensive but like no other.

Wax for the hull I use 3M stuff can't remember what it is off the top of my head but it's marine grade polish and wax. Expensive yes but the results are far different than any automotive type wax even though they are all usually some form of carnauba.
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Old 07-19-2016, 08:19 PM   #8
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Default Rust stains?

Don't think it was in this Thread, but recall someone mentioned question regarding removing rust stains from fiberglass.....

I had a few rust stain on my Center Console, under stainless steel brackets, tried several products without success, then saw a post by someone who suggested using "Bar Keepers Friend'.

I had Bar Keeper's Friend in the house (no sure why), so I took some, mixed with water into a paste and applied to stain. The rust stain was removed with very little effort, and looks brand new.
This product is absolutely amazing ! Now I'm looking for other things that this product can be used to clean. Would recommend to all......
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Old 07-19-2016, 09:34 PM   #9
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Back in the early 90's I neglected a hatch cover on my Whaler. Looked awful and unable to see through it. Bar Keepers to the rescue, making it better than new. Another great item is Flitz for use on metals. Love Never Seize also.
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:31 PM   #10
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Default Boat Detailing at a fair cost!

Hi my name is Erin and I am an owner of Top Knot Marine Services. We are a local company that provides professional marine services at a fair cost for boaters in the Southern New Hampshire region. Top Knot Marine Services specializes in boat detailing, routine maintenance, and winterization. For pricing or questions please contact us at topknotmarine@gmail.com, and we will be glad to speak to you!
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